'I will survive'

Cancer survivors are the reason behind Relay for Life

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Bev Rubley refused to be a victim of cancer.

So, when she was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in 1999, Rubley saw every day as a gift from God.

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His gift was her survival.

It's a gift she plans to celebrate with other survivors and those currently battling cancer, during the opening lap of Craig's first Relay for Life, scheduled for July 20 and 21 at the Moffat County High School track.

Rubley is one of 15 to sign up for the survivors lap out of 100 forms sent out, a number Relay for Life chair Elisa Hayes is seeking to make higher.

"Cancer survivors participation is so important," Hayes said. "They are the reason we relay."

Another reason is to raise funds for cancer research for the American Cancer Society.

"The American Cancer Society only has enough funding to get through 10 percent of research applications," Rubley said. "Who knows if a cure for cancer is at the bottom of that pile of applications."

According to the American Cancer Society, one in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

"Cancer has affected everybody sometime in their life," Rubley said. "Whether through friends, neighbors, cousins, aunts or parents, everyone has some connection to cancer."

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer never will be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

"The most important part of the relay is bringing awareness to the community," Rubley said.

Still time to go

Four weeks remain until the Moffat County Relay for Life, and Hayes is determined to make the relay an annual event.

Yet, a few obstacles stand the way of achieving her goal.

"We are struggling to get corporate sponsors," she said.

Without business participation, Hayes finds it difficult to raise enough money to be recognized by the American Cancer Society.

"The primary part of participation is to show the American Cancer Society that we need their services in our region," Hayes said.

Businesses can show their support and become "Friends of the Relay" by purchasing a track marker for $100 from any relay team member. The company's name and logo will adorn the track markers and align the track with the luminaries.

"It is 18 hours of free advertisement," Hayes said.

Yet, not all is bad.

With the rise in luminary sales and team participation, Hayes is seeing positive progress.

"I am very impressed with the team captains' participation," Hayes said. "They jumped on board the committee and got their teams together for fundraising."

From bake sales to yard sales to chaining desks to people's front lawns, Hayes complimented the relay teams' creativity.

"One team even wrote letters from their pets to the recipients pet asking for donations," Hayes said.

To register for the survivors lap, call Elisa Hayes at 824-6574 or 629-5919.


Mari Katherine Raftopoulos can be reached at 824-7031 or mkraftopoulos@craigdailypress.com

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